Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT TUE MAY 17 2022

...Today in metro Denver weather history...

14-18 In 1996...from the 14th to the 18th...a period of unusually
        warm weather resulted in 4 record maximum temperatures in
        5 days.  The record high temperatures were 87 degrees on
        the 14th...89 degrees on the 15th...and 93 degrees on both
        the 16th and 18th.  The temperature climbed to only 81
        degrees on the 17th which was not a record.
16-17 In 1981...from the 16th to the 17th...a heavy rain storm dumped
        1 to 2 1/2 inches of rain across metro Denver.  Rainfall
        totaled 1.27 inches at Stapleton International Airport where
        north winds gusted to 38 mph on 17th.
      In 1983...from the 16th to the 17th...a very strong late spring
        storm dumped heavy snow over the Front Range.  Strong winds
        with the storm produced blizzard conditions at times.
        Sustained winds were 20 to 40 mph with a peak gust to 55 mph
        at Stapleton International Airport.  The foothills received
        1 to 2 feet of snow with 4 to 12 inches along the foothills.
        Howling winds whipped the snow into drifts several feet
        deep...closing schools and highways.  Stapleton International
        Airport was forced to reduce flight operations...closing 2 of
        4 runways and stranding hundreds of travelers.  Most of the
        damage and inconvenience caused by the storm was in power
        outages...which occurred when wind and heavy wet snow caused
        hundreds of power poles to snap and topple.  About 20 square
        miles of Denver were blacked out.  Precipitation from the
        storm totaled 1 to 3 inches.  At Stapleton International
        Airport...snowfall totaled 7.1 inches with a maximum snow
        depth on the ground of only 2 inches due to melting.  The
        high temperature of 40 degrees on the 17th was a record low
        maximum for the date.  Due to the heavy moisture content
        of the storm...widespread street flooding occurred on the
        18th when much of the snow melted under the warm May sun
        and temperatures climbed to a high of 57 degrees.
      In 1995...from the 16th to the 17th...significant moisture and
        upslope flow caused flooding across metro Denver.  Moderate
        to heavy rains...which began on the evening of the 16th...
        developed in the foothills and spread eastward over metro
        Denver throughout the night.  The heavy rains brought many
        creeks and small streams to bankfull or slightly over.
        Locations along the foothills received between 3 and 4
        inches of rainfall from the storm.  Boulder received 3.60
        inches of rainfall for the 24-hour period...causing minor
        street flooding near small streams.  To the northwest of
        Boulder...a bridge which crossed Fourmile Creek was washed
        out.  Numerous rock and mudslides occurred in foothills
        canyons...closing portions of U.S. Highways 6 and 40 and
        State Highway 119 for a few hours at a time.  Rocks were
        piled 6 feet deep on a stretch of State Highway 119 along
        with boulders as large as cars on U.S. Highway 6.  A
        parking lot near a creek in Golden caved in leaving a
        hole the size of an 18-wheeler.  Rushing water washed out
        a 50-foot stretch of a road in Westminster.  Rainfall
        totaled 1.75 inches at Denver International Airport...but
        only 1.42 inches at the site of the former Stapleton
        International Airport.
17    In 1903...southwest winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts
        to 45 mph from an apparent microburst which produced only
        a trace of rain.
      In 1960...hail to 3/4 inch diameter was measured in Thornton.
        Golf ball size hail fell in Arvada.
      In 1972...microburst winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton
        International Airport.
      In 1975...hail 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter fell over western
        metro Denver.
      In 1978...a small tornado touched down in south Aurora
        damaging 40 homes...6 to a considerable extent.  One garage
        was demolished and blown across the street.  Parts of roofs
        were completely blown away.  Several 2x4-inch boards were
        blown into the sides of houses.  Another small tornado in
        Parker damaged two airplanes.  Other funnel clouds were
        sighted over Northglenn and near Golden.
      In 1985...a thunderstorm produced a total of 1.50 inches of
        rain in Brighton where 0.72 inches fell in 40 minutes.
        Small hail covered the ground...and there was some street
        and basement flooding.
      In 1987...small hail piled up 4 inches deep in southwest
        Aurora.  There was also widespread street flooding and a
        few power outages.  Hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter
        fell at Castle Rock.
      In 2000...high winds occurred along and east of the Front Range a deep surface low pressure center formed over
        the northeast plains of Colorado.  An amusement park in
        north Boulder received about 25 thousand dollars in property
        damage.  Peak wind reports included:  88 mph at the National
        Wind Technology Center...84 mph in Boulder...and 80 mph at the
        National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Laboratory.
        A powder keg of severe weather...including tornadoes and
        thunderstorms producing large hail...damaging winds and
        heavy rain...occurred over the plains to the northeast of
        Denver.  The only severe weather reported across metro
        Denver was 1 inch diameter hail in Littleton.
17-19 In 2017...a strong spring storm dropped across the Great Basin...
        and then moved eastward across Colorado. Isolated but strong
        thunderstorms preceded the system on the 17th with hail up
        to nickel size near Boulder Airport and Brighton. Significant
        snow fell across the Front Range mountains and foothills over
        the next couple of days. Along the Interstate 25 Corridor...
        rain turned to snow on the morning of the 18th...heaviest from
        around Broomfield northward. The heavy wet snow snapped the
        limbs of fully leaved trees and caused scattered power
        outages. A barns collapsed in northeast Loveland. Fifty-five
        head of cattle were inside the collapsed barn; three were
        injured and later euthanized. Numerous branches and trees
        snapped in the foothills. Elsewhere...several scattered
        smaller power outages were reported. Three to nearly five
        inches of liquid precipitation rain or a mix of
        rain and snow...fell around Greeley. Storm totals in the Front
        Range mountains and foothills included: 42.0 inches near
        Allenspark...41.5 inches near Ward...36 inches at Estes Park...
        32 inches near Pinecliffe...30.5 inches northwest of Golden...
        30 inches near Nederland...26 inches near Breckenridge...25
        inches near Aspen Springs and Bear Lake State Park...14
        inches at Aspen Springs...with 9.5 inches near Evergreen.
        On the west side of the Interstate 25 Corridor...storm
        totals included: 10 inches near Superior and Louisville...6
        to 8 inches in and around Fort Collins...6 inches in Lafayette...
        5 inches in Broomfield and Loveland...and 4 inches near Niwot.

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